United States President Barack Obama has said if given a chance he would like to have a meal with his “real hero” Mahatma Gandhi, although the apostle of peace did not eat a lot.

Mr. Obama’s response came to a question from a ninth grade student at the Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, who asked him if he could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who it would be.

“Dinner with anyone dead or alive? Well, you know, dead or alive, that’s a pretty big list,” he said amidst laughter. “You know, I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine,” Mr. Obama said.

“Now, it would probably be a really small meal because he didn’t eat a lot.”

He said Gandhiji was someone who has inspired people across the world for the past several generations. “He [Gandhiji] is somebody whom I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr. King [Martin Luther], so if it hadn’t been for the non-violent movement in India, you might not have seen the same non-violent movement for civil rights here in the United States,” he said.

Gandhiji, Mr. Obama said, ended up changing the world just by the power of his ethics. “I am always interested in people who are able to bring about change, not through violence, not through money, but through the force of their personality and their ethical and moral stances. That is somebody that I would love to sit down and talk to.”

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